Born in 1995, Spanish model Andrea Aybar Carmona has lived in Viet Nam since she was eight years old. Despite being so young, she has worked for a modelling company in Viet Nam for six years. Carmona can speak Vietnamese fluently. Hue Van
spoke to her about her life and career.
Inner Sanctum: Why did you decide to become a model?
Since I was a little girl, I always dreamt of becoming a model. I used to take part in photoshoots for my father's shoe company. When I came to Viet Nam, I was invited to join Venus, a reputable modelling company here. For me, it was an opportunity to challenge myself, so I decided to give it a try. The photoshoot was good and the director of the company asked me to keep at it, so here I am.
Inner Sanctum: What's it like being a model?
My thoughts have changed day by day as I have grown accustomed to the job. I know that models have to sweat and shed tears if they want to become successful. It is commonly believed that all you need to be a model is long thin legs and good-looking features, but that is not true. You need time, expertise and knowledge, too. How to move on the catwalk, pose in front of a lens, and express yourself with your eyes and face requires a lot of training.
Inner Sanctum: The first time you ventured into the world of fashion, did you encounter any difficulties?
I must say, everything was new to me, especially moving around on high heels. I had to walk with extremely high heels, up to 10cm high. The first time I stood on them, my feet ached so much, they even became livid, and seriously swelled up for weeks. I cried a lot.
Every night, I had to massage my feet by soaking them in warm water. I reminded myself that it was just a tiny thing that I would have to put up with if I wanted to be a pro, and that no obstacle would get in my way.
Inner Sanctum: Were people impressed when you became successful?
I began doing fashion shows not long ago. I have now taken part in more than 100 shows for many prestigious labels such as Adidas, Levi's, Bally, VanLaack… but what really made me happy was that I had grown as a model and that I had gained a measure of independence.
Inner Sanctum: What about the dark side of the modelling career?
To be honest, I have not fallen prey to any dark forces. I am well aware that there is a dark side to this career. But the most important thing is that I believe I have the guts and the strength to keep away from temptation.
Inner Sanctum: Does being a model affect your studies?
My dad wanted me to take over the family business. However, after seeing my interest in modelling, he totally backed my decision. In return, I have tried very hard to keep up with my studies to please him.
When I take part in a show in Ha Noi, my dad and brother always come along to support me. Each time I go on the catwalk, my brother cheers me on.
Inner Sanctum: Have you been given a nickname at school?
My brother and me are the only foreign students at our school. The first time I went to school, everybody looked at me oddly. But now they have got used to me. My full name is Andrea Aybar Carmona, but people call me by my Vietnamese name An, and I feel very pleased that most people at school say "hi" to me.
Inner Sanctum: After eight years in Viet Nam, what has impressed you the most? Can you tell us about your future plans?
I think Vietnamese people are very friendly and kind, and Vietnamese food is awesome. I usually make pho cuon (rolled rice pancake) and bun thang (vermicelli soup with chicken) on the weekend for my dad and brother. As for the future, I plan to continue working as a model, but I would also like to work in other fields, such as television. — VNS